Hudson v Ridge Manufacturing Co Ltd [1957] 2 QB 348

Liability of employers for failing to prevent the independent dangerous actions of an employee


The claimant was an employee of the defendant and was injured at work as the result of a prank from a fellow employee. The employee concerned was known to the employer to have a reputation for playing tricks and pranks on fellow employees and had been told to stop this kind of behaviour on numerous occasions because it may result in harm. On the day in question, the employee got hold of the claimant and forced him to the ground, injuring the claimant’s wrist. The claimant claimed against the employer.


The issue here was whether an employer held a duty of care to ensure that their employees were safe at work, including ensuring that other employees did not pose a risk of harm.


It was held that the claimant’s injury was caused by the employer’s failure to put a stop to the persistent behaviour of the other employee. The employer was under a duty to its employees to ensure that such risks were not present in the workplace. The employer’s duty extended to ensuring that the behaviour of the employee stopped, and if the employee did not stop behaving in the complained of manner, removing the employee.